July 30 2014 Latest news:

A Honiton teenager will be lacing up her running shoes to take part in her first half-marathon and raise awareness of arthritis in young people.

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Lauren Forsyth, who was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was only 15, hopes to raise as much money as she can to help fund further research into the condition.

Now 19, she says she was determined to take part in an active challenge for charity this year and decided to run the Hastings Half Marathon on March 23 in aid of Arthritis Research UK.

“I am looking forward to doing the half marathon. I’ve never done anything like this before,” says Lauren. “I am really grateful I can do it and I am quite excited about it.

“It is a very worthy cause and awareness needs to be raised.”

The 19-year-old is currently on medication to manage the condition, which has meant she has been able to carry on as she did before discovering she had arthritis. Before taking the medication Lauren says she found it difficult to walk and do other simple tasks we often take for granted. She added: “I am so lucky and grateful. I almost forget I have it - the medication means I can do everything.”

The University of Brighton student is trying to balance her training with her studies. She is currently in her second year of studying business management.

Next year Lauren hopes she can take part in a full marathon and continue raising money to help further research in arthritis.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/lauren-forsyth. Alternatively, sponsorship forms are available at Ganesha Wholefoods in Dolphin Court, Honiton.

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